Fourth of July Fireworks


Offense: Murder

The Allegation: On the 4th of July, 2020, a family was having a reunion celebration in a local Dallas area park. A verbal argument broke out between two men that would have turned physical if onlookers had not intervened. One of the men started walking toward the parking lot and the second man began following him. When the first man approached his car, the second man pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and fired 16 shots into the man’s back, killing him. He was arrested and charged with murder.

Our Client: He was a 32-year-old man, engaged to be married to the mother of his two children. He was a barber with no significant criminal history, but a reputation as a good, non-violent person.  

His Version of the Story: Our client was enjoying a family holiday in the park while preparing to enjoy fireworks with his 13-year-old son when he was approached by a man he knew. The man appeared intoxicated and belligerent and quickly confronted our client. Our client tried to de-escalate the situation but the man persisted and began threatening to get a gun from his car and kill our client, his wife, and their kids. As the man began stomping toward his car, our client followed him in an attempt to calm the man down, but he continued to repeat the threats. As the man approached his car, our client felt he had no choice but to use deadly force to keep the man from getting access to a gun.

Our Findings: Our investigation found that the deceased man had a well-earned reputation for violence and had been incarcerated twice before. He was known to possess firearms and was unpredictable. He was considered a dangerous man and many witnesses testified that his threats were credible. Our measurements at the scene helped demonstrate that our client had no opportunity to escape with his family before the man could get to his car. He used deadly force in self-defense and in defense of other people.

The Outcome: The jury voted unanimously to acquit our client of all charges.


The Blackfish Files

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Partner & Sr. Investigator

Trent Forbes, is the Director of Blackfish’s digital forensics lab, and a Certified Mobile Forensic Examiner, Certified Vehicle System Forensic Technician, Operator, and Examiner. With over twenty years of computer security and private investigation experience, he brings a non-law enforcement perspective to our investigations, and his work as a digital forensics expert has been validated through an extensive history of courtroom testimony.


President & Sr. Investigator

Daryl Parker is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and a board-certified Criminal Defense Investigator with over twenty-five years of experience in military, law enforcement, and private investigations. His work includes high-profile cold-case investigations, and founding a non-profit providing investigative services for potential wrongful conviction cases. He is in charge of the Family Law and Civil division.


Partner & Sr. Investigator

JD Spielman is a U. S. Army veteran and a board-certified Criminal Defense Investigator with over 30 years of experience in law enforcement. In 2010 he was selected as the Investigator of the Year by the Dallas County District Attorney, and subsequently became the Deputy Chief Investigator with the Collin County DA’s office. He is currently in charge of the Criminal Investigations division at Blackfish.

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Partner & Sr. Investigator

Billy Meeks, a Founding Partner at Blackfish, is a U. S. Army veteran and has over forty years of law enforcement and private investigation experience. In addition to his expansive work on everything from capital crimes to federal RICO operations, he has also cultivated an incredible network of experts and legal resources.